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Choosing your Travel Credit Card

Choosing your Travel Credit Card

Choosing the right travel credit card and using it securely while travelling can help make your trip more enjoyable and stress-free. By taking these steps, you can have a worry-free and enjoyable travel experience.

Travelling abroad can be an exciting and fulfilling experience, but it can also be stressful if you’re not prepared. One way to ensure that your trip goes smoothly is by using a travel credit card. A travel credit card can offer a range of benefits, such as reward points, travel insurance, and fraud protection. 

UBOMI provides these tips for choosing a travel credit card and best practices to use them securely while overseas.

Research your credit card options

The first step in choosing a travel credit card is to research your options. Look for cards that offer benefits such as travel insurance, reward points, and low foreign transaction fees. Consider cards that offer additional perks, such as airport lounge access or hotel upgrades. Compare the fees and benefits of different cards to find the one that suits your needs.

Co-brand or general card

When it comes to travel credit cards, you will often be offered a choice of either a co-branded or a general card. Co-branded cards are affiliated with a specific airline or hotel’s rewards programme, which by themselves can unlock special member benefits; one example of this is the Bonvoy brand from Marriott. Each of its four tiers will have perks such as an extra night stay at a member hotel added to your account on its anniversary and a certain number of bonus points depending on the amount charged to the card during a specific period. 

General travel credit cards may offer rewards that can be redeemed for any travel expenses, subject to specific conditions. 

Check for travel-related benefits

When choosing a travel credit card, make sure to check for travel-related benefits, such as travel insurance and emergency assistance. These benefits can offer peace of mind and protect you against unexpected events, such as flight cancellations, lost luggage, or medical emergencies. 

Low foreign transaction fees

Foreign transaction fees can add up quickly, especially if you’re travelling for an extended period. Look for cards that offer low or no foreign transaction fees to save money on your overseas purchases.

Check the reward programme

Reward programmes can be an excellent way to save money on travel-related expenses. Look for cards that offer rewards such as airline miles, hotel points, or cash back. Check the terms and conditions of the reward programme to make sure they align with your travel plans and preferences. You might find yourself paying huge annual fees for a card with benefits you don’t take advantage of when you travel.

Consider the credit card’s security features

Security should be a top priority when travelling abroad. Look for cards that offer security features such as fraud protection, identity theft protection, and zero liability protection. These features can help protect you against unauthorised purchases and other fraudulent activities.

Best practices for using a travel credit card abroad

  • Inform the bank of travel plans. Before you leave for your trip, notify your bank of your travel plans well ahead of time. This can help prevent your card from being flagged for suspicious activity, which could lead to it being blocked or cancelled. You can usually notify your bank online or over the phone.
  • Use ATMs with caution. ATMs can be a convenient way to access cash while travelling, but they can also be a target for fraudsters. Use ATMs located inside reputable banks or hotels and avoid using standalone ATMs in public places; there are many strange accounts over the years of how ATMs have been tampered with attachments such as fake keypads and card scanners over the actual slot, both of which transfer the card data to cyber scammers nearby. Cover the keypad when entering your PIN and always take your receipt with you.
  • Safety. Keep your travel credit card safe while travelling by storing it in a secure location, such as a hotel safe. Avoid carrying all your credit cards with you and only take what you need for the day. Don’t leave your card unattended, and be mindful of pickpockets in crowded areas. You can also take the opportunity to invest in protective folders or wallets that cover a credit card’s RFID chip from detection by potential card theft scanners. 
  • Periodic review of your statements of account. Check your credit card statements regularly while travelling to make sure there are no unauthorised charges. Report any suspicious activity to your bank immediately. This also dovetails with any notification framework you got with your bank, such as text or email updates indicating how the card was used. 

A finance app such as UBOMI can be an ideal asset to track expenses of your travel card. The UMONEY feature allows you to enrol the card and be able to monitor the swiping activity as they happen.

If you liked our “Choosing your Travel Credit Card” and find it useful, check our blogs regularly for more information to get updates on UBOMI’s money planner app.

DISCLAIMER: This article is for informational purposes only. UBOMI has no partnerships with any company or organisation mentioned in the article, nor endorse any credit-card product.